While nothing is official until 4:00pm EST tomorrow, some NFL free agent signings are already being announced during the current negotiation period. The Dallas Cowboys appear to have suffered their first major loss of the 2017 offseason as starting safety Barry Church appears to be headed to a new team.
This isn’t the first time that Jacksonville had paid heavily for a former Cowboy. In 2015 they signed offensive tackle Jermey Parnell to a big contract despite his lack of starting experience.
Barry Church has plenty of experience, starting every game he’s played in since 2012. Undrafted in 2010, Church made his name on special teams and spent two years working his way into the starting lineup. He has been one of the Cowboys’ most prolific tacklers for several seasons.
While never a dynamic play-maker, Church has been a solidly reliable presence at safety. He has also been one of the Cowboys’ best citizens and a model teammate. He will go down as one of the league’s better success stories for undrafted rookies.
With Barry Church leaving and J.J. Wilcox also a free agent, Dallas currently has Jeff Heath as the presumed replacement. Unless they sign or draft someone in the coming months, Heath will start alongside Byron Jones at safety in 2017.